Gettin’ In Gear

Posted by Filed Under: Gear & Apparel, GPS & Mapping, Outerwear, Running Tips

running gearRunners often cite “affordability” as one of the reasons they are initially attracted to the sport. For the most part, the lack of equipment necessary to run translates to a minimum financial investment. A pair of running shoes usually does the trick.

Of course, it’s probably more comfortable to run in shorts and a t-shirt rather than jeans and a button-down, so some type of gear becomes necessary. Running can be as affordable or as expensive as your budget, and imagination, will allow.

Where are some places to go to find gear? Running Chick has put together a quick list of different types of places to get your gear—simple, fancy or otherwise:

Local Running Store/Local Bike Shop/Local Sporting Goods Store

It always pays to buy local and support your hometown community. If you are new to the area, check the Internet or your local phone book for listings, or ask around at the gym, the office, church, school, etc.

Runners might be surprised to find that the local bike shop often has nutrition and hydration products that can be used for both disciplines.

Off-Price Stores

Places like TJ Maxx, TK Maxx (UK), Marshall’s, Ross, Winners, etc., will often have running apparel tucked in to their “active” clothing racks. It may take some persistence and patience to find something, but the deal will make it worthwhile.

TJ Maxx

Winners (Canada)

Big Name Stores

Even if you don’t have one of these stores in your area, you can shop online and get the same (or better) deals as in the store.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Sports Authority


REI Outlet


Mountain Equipment Co-op (Canada)

Nike factory stores

Lucy: Women’s active wear



Online Retailers

Remember to check out the clearance pages on these sites!

National Running Center

Road Runner Sports


RnJ Sports

Nashbar: Biking (check hydration/nutrition sections)

Performance Bike: Biking (check hydration/nutrition sections)


Race Expos

This is a great place to try on the gear you see in the catalogs and magazines. For example, if you have been wanting a Fuel Belt but aren’t sure which size would be comfortable for you, you can test it out at the Expo!

You’ll also find local businesses at the Expos too. You may uncover a gem you didn’t know existed.

Other Tips

  • There are sites like Bizrate that can help you compare shoes prices.

  • If you are having trouble finding the shoes you want, check with the manufacturer directly. For example, one runner bought trail shoes from Inov8 and was directed to Schnee‘s as a retailer.
  • Always look in the “clearance” section—at stores and online.
  • Shop the seasons in the off-season. Buy your summer gear in the fall when it’s marked down to sell quickly.
  • Once you find something you like, buy more than one.
  • If you are ordering online, consider combining your order with that of a runner-friend and save on shipping costs!

What are your favorites? Feel free to share your favorite stops for gear in the comment section.

About Dianna

Dianna, also known as the Running Chick with the Orange Hat (Running Chick for short) moved from being a periodic gym rat to a runner in January of 2003 during a botched New Year's resolution. Her newly rediscovered fondness for running quickly blossomed into a full-blown obsession. Within a year and a half, she went from suffering through two miles on the treadmill to running a marathon. Cotton was discarded for wicking fabrics and gel was no longer something she put in her hair. Since then, she has continued to challenge herself, first with achieving her Boston Qualifying time, then running a PR at Boston and doing an occasional sprint distance triathlon. Future endeavors include a trail marathon and longer distance triathlons. Dianna has been blogging about her running adventures since April 2004, even getting an article 'published' online at Runner's World as well as capturing the attention of a local news channel. She can discuss all things related to running, swimming, and biking, at great length, without ever getting bored. In her free time, she enjoys pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, with her husband and multi-racial canine in Connecticut, U.S.A.

  1. Nancy Toby on October 16th at 6:18 pm

    “Runners often cite “affordability” as one of the reasons they are initially attracted to the sport.”

    Huh? I’ve never heard anyone say “I started running just because I could afford it.”

    Or “I was going to start yachting, but then I priced a few, and decided to start running instead.”

  2. Mark Iocchelli on October 16th at 6:32 pm

    Nancy, I did! No kidding. I’d moved to Edmonton unemployed, didn’t know anyone and was too broke to do anything else! And that was the beginning of running for me. 🙂

  3. Dianna on October 16th at 7:40 pm

    And in a similar vein as Mark, I’ve come across quite a few runners who didn’t want to sink lots of cash in to a gym membership or a fancy bike that would require maintenance. Running was a simple and cheap way to get moving – and that’s not always the *only* reason it was appealing.

  4. Jeanne on October 16th at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for all these great resources. I’m bookmarking this page! and yeah, i admit it: i DID briefly consider yachting (cuz that’s such great exercise!) but I gave up on the idea when i saw the dock fees.